DHS Proposes Massive Expansion Of “Biometric Modality” Collection

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What first seemed like a gradual slide in the federal government’s use of biometrics is quickly becoming supercharged in a post-pandemic world.

Readers may recall since 9/11, DHS, the FBI, the CIA, and other alphabet soup agencies have transformed America into a surveillance state that could be on par with China in the coming years.

Activity in DNA and biometric-gathering by the federal government is set to surge. The DHS recently announced a “notice of proposed rulemaking” that outlines the agency could enlarge its collection of biometrics data by at least 2 million submissions annually.

The 328-page draft of the new rule (found here) proposes to amend existing DHS regulations “concerning the use and collection of biometrics in the enforcement and administration of immigration laws by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).”

The National Law Review highlights the key points in the forthcoming rule:

  • Unless waived by DHS, any applicant, petitioner, sponsor, beneficiary, or individual filing or associated with an immigration benefit or request, including U.S. citizens, must appear for biometrics collection – regardless of age.
  • There will be new biometrics modalities, including iris scans, palm prints, and voiceprints.
  • DHS may require DNA results to prove the existence of a claimed genetic relationship.
  • Foreign nationals who are granted immigration benefits will be subject to continued and subsequent vetting and biometric evaluation until granted U.S. citizenship.
  • New forms will be produced, including the new biometrics requirements.

The DHS proposes to change the definition of the word “biometrics” to “the measurable biological (anatomical and physiological) or behavioral characteristics used for identification of an individual.”  – READ MORE

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